Artist: Pierre-Paul Prud'hon
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 278 x 166 cm
Location: Musée du Louvre, Paris.
Mark 15:33 At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.
The sixth hour began before noon, and the ninth hour before 3 p.m. Darkness was traditionally thought of as portent of imminent judgment. Scripture told of it happening in the past, when Exodus speaks of a plague of darkness (Ex 10:21-23), and in future times as well: “Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light" (Amos 5:18).
This painting was commissioned for Metz Cathedral. Said at the time to have been painted to console the artist in his grief at the suicide of his mistress and pupil Constance Mayer (1775-1821), the sincerity of this work, with its lights and shadows playing over Christ's twisted body and averted face, is beyond doubt.
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (April 4, 1758, Cluny, - February 16, 1823, Paris) was a French portrait and historical painter. He was trained at the